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Navy Pier Through the Years

May. 15, 2020

Navy Pier Through the Years

Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination, has gone through an exciting evolution over the last 100+ years! Let’s revisit the amazing developments the Pier has experienced, starting with its 1916 opening as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago. Then and now, Navy Pier has been a Chicago icon and popular destination throughout its history.

1916

Opened to the public in 1916, originally named “Municipal Pier”. The build was overseen by architect Charles Sumner Frost and based on Daniel Burnham’s “Master Plan of Chicago.” The purpose of the Pier was to be a shipping and recreation facility.

1927

The Pier experienced a name change this year! Municipal Pier was officially renamed Navy Pier in 1927 as a tribute to the Navy personnel who were housed at the Pier during World War I.

1977

Fifty years later, Navy Pier was designated a Chicago landmark, positioning the Pier as an unforgettable destination in the city and across the globe.

1994

Navy Pier underwent a redevelopment in 1994 with improvements made to nearly every aspect of the Pier!

1995

Nearly twenty five years ago, Navy Pier reopened in July 1995 to the public. Since then, Navy Pier has offered a diverse and eclectic experience to guests and remains one of the most unique settings in the world.

2011

In July 2011, Navy Pier, Inc., the newly formed not-for-profit entity entrusted with the operation and redevelopment of Navy Pier, put forth The Centennial Vision, a framework for reimagining Navy Pier. The vision’s purpose was to expand the Pier’s audience and enrich the experience of guests.

2016

The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion.

2019

In 2019, the Pier ushered in its second century. There were ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts, including a 220-room Hilton hotel & Offshore Rooftop & Bar. The Pier offers free, year-round arts & cultural programming designed to inspire, educate & connect communities.

We can’t wait to see what the next 100 years holds for navy pier!

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